Will audio-based social become a bigger element of digital engagement in 2021?
Twitter's certainly putting its faith into audio connection. After launching the first wave of testing for its new, Clubhouse-style audio 'Spaces' feature last month, the company has today announced that it's acquired podcast listening app Breaker, which it will use to build out Spaces and enhance the experience.
Which makes a lot of sense - aside from being a podcast listening app, Breaker also provides social features like comments, likes on episodes, as well as a feed of updates on podcast engagement among your connections.
That could make it a great fit for Spaces. Part of the problem with Twitter's content is that it's not always readily dicoverable - there could be a range of great live-streams happening on Twitter at any given time, for example, but there's no central listing which highlights where you can find them. You're either following the right profiles or you miss out, and same goes for Fleets, Twitter chats, interviews, etc. You still get some notifications via updates on tweets that your connections have liked, but if Twitter could build out a better system to highlight Spaces specifically, based on the other Spaces your connections have engaged with, that could go a long way to improving discovery.
It's not entirely clear how Twitter will integrate Breaker at this stage, but Breaker co-founder Leah Culver has noted that the Breaker team will now begin work on Twitter Spaces. The Breaker app itself will shut down on Friday, January 15th.
It seems like a good fit. Whether or not you believe that audio rooms are going to become a key trend is another question, but if Twitter can make Spaces work, and facilitate the growth of great podcasting and audio talent, it could become an important growth and engagement opportunity within the main app.